Exam cheats to be thwarted by gadgets

Exam chiefs are employing an armoury of James Bond-style gadgets to crack down on teenagers cheating in their GCSEs and A-levels this summer.

The Edexcel exam board's hi-tech approach, including electronic tagging of question papers, deterred cheating pupils last year.

As the exam season looms, the board is gearing up to introduce yet more gizmos worthy of James Bond's tech-savvy Q.

Schools' names will be invisibly written within single letters of exam papers using "microtext", effectively watermarking them to prove they are genuine because the microtext cannot be photocopied.

This would also allow exam papers to be traced back to schools in the event of a security breach.

In moves more reminiscent of the "transponders" attached to track key targets in the counter-terrorism drama 24, the bags in which exam papers are sent to schools will be fitted with radio tags.

Bosses will be able to scan exam papers remotely to make sure they have not been tampered with.

The board will continue to use sophisticated anti-plagiarism computer software to analyse pupils' written answers and detect whether they have copied each other's work, or if a whole class's answers are suspiciously similar.

View: Guardian Article

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

CodeLite IDE v1.0RC01

Next Story

MIDI Converter Studio 6.0

22 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I was told "When you cheat, you only cheat yourself" :nuts:

The chances are, schools don't care if pupils cheat, as it pushes up their exam result, performance figures! :redface:

When and how did cheating at exams become such an issue, or become so easy? I just don't remember it even being considered as an option when I was at school. We were too scared of getting caught.

Maybe that's the problem - today's youth have no fear as they generally believe they are invincible anyway. Maybe they are so thick that they really do have to cheat to stand a chance of passing. Whatever the reason, having to live an entire future based upon cheating exams at school seems supremely pitiful to me.

I think cheaters should be let through and then go on to be employed on the basis of their, certified, stellar academic ability.
Then we can sit back and watch them make fools of themselves in the workplace.

The only one that could even think that there was an issue with them trying new tech gadgets to catch the cheaters are the one's that cheat them self or did in the past or think it is not a big deal.

There is no issue what so ever in trying to get does that cheats.

People study hard to make it true does test. Even stop going out with friends etc. to make it true , and it is not fair at all if they have to share all the credits after all that hard work with stu**d idi**'s that cheats.

Cheaters needs to get caught and if they have to go all that way to make it possible, i say go, go, go all the way.

Roflol :nuts: , I didn't know west had this much problems with cheaters. I wonder what will they introduce in next year exams. Probable some Hi-Tech security that banks could dream of :P.

sounds like a way to waste more money on something that wont add to the education of public school students, heaven forbid we pay the teachers more or use the money to provide materials to students that cant afford them.

Thing is - if an entire class of students are taught by the same person (i.e. they are in the same class *headdesk*) then of course their answers will be similar - they've all been taught how to answer the paper by the same person, in the same style.

Oh, and I love their calculator rules as well - apparently "Translators" on calculators are not allowed. Heaven knows how a translator would help in a math exam or why you would need a calculator in a language exam, but heh.

Wait a minute, if they got software to detect if answers as a whole are suspiciously similar...how does that work? isn't there a probability and static factors that can over wright the logic behind it? Like in the past when cheating was detected by software in Counter Strike to stop people from cheating then banned since it couldn't detect software being run it based it decision on how many kills:death you have and head shot ratios aswell. At one point I was so good that the software banned me for "cheating" so I just think it might work that way...no?

You have got to be a complete idiot not being able to pass (c-a*) g.c.s.e. exam.

Excuse me, but i didnt pass most of my GCSE's with that kind of grade, but I came out of college with the best possible grades and I am just about to finish university with a degree, you dont have to be a complete idiot at all.

Anyway, i think this is taking it a little bit too far, only a very select few would even dream of cheating anyway

You have got to be a complete idiot not being able to pass (c-a*) g.c.s.e. exam.

If cheats employed as much to their study as they do in finding ways to cheat at their exams then they would be a brain surgeon.

hmmm.......it seems pretty grim in the west.....even though you guys have the best technology, facilities etc etc this problem still exists.

I feel for the students who arent really cheating bcos its like adding DRM protection to a song you made.....

It's pretty discrete. I haven't noticed any differences in the way things are done between my GCSEs two years ago and my A-levels this year.

Schools' names will be invisibly written within single letters of exam papers using "microtext", effectively watermarking them to prove they are genuine because the microtext cannot be photocopied.

This would also allow exam papers to be traced back to schools in the event of a security breach.

So a photocopy will not pickup the microtext...anyone else see a problem with this? Is something leaks out it is probibly going to be a copy...

Except the whole point is to trace where the leak originated from. Obviously people are going to make photocopies, so they can leave the original in its place, covering any indication of a breach. The photocopies will not have the microtext, meaning that you can't trace the copies back to the original breach.

Sounds like a gaping hole in their security if you ask me..

(Kojio said @ #2.2)
Except the whole point is to trace where the leak originated from. Obviously people are going to make photocopies, so they can leave the original in its place, covering any indication of a breach. The photocopies will not have the microtext, meaning that you can't trace the copies back to the original breach.

Sounds like a gaping hole in their security if you ask me..


The photocopies will not have a legible microtext but yet expose the original track in some extend.

i think its time we got a new school system here in the west
the current one is starting to really sow its age now with this bull****

How exactly do your "sow" your age? I guess you're right - the school system needs improvement!

But I'm not going to get angry about it, after all, cheating is wrong, didn't you know that?

This is just like Windows Genuine Advantage. If you do nothing wrong, it has zero impact on you whatsoever.

(C_Guy said @ #1.1)
How exactly do your "sow" your age? I guess you're right - the school system needs improvement!

But I'm not going to get angry about it, after all, cheating is wrong, didn't you know that?

This is just like Windows Genuine Advantage. If you do nothing wrong, it has zero impact on you whatsoever.

i think cheating is only wrong as far as school/college to a certain extent... cause take college for example... if your cheating on classes that have absolutely NOTHING to do with your chosen profession i have ZERO problem's cheating on stuff like that.... i figure the only time cheating is wrong is if your cheating to pass your main profession and end up being crappy at your chosen profession because of it.

cause college is bad enough already making you take ALOT of classes that are 100percent pointless towards your chosen profession and what makes that even worse is those teachers get paid alot to AND YOUR PAYING THEM! (dont make sense does it? ! )

they need to make college to where you only have to do what's needed for your chosen profession.... cause i hate how they have it setup now just so that a few extra people can have jobs when there not even needed and they get paid alot to on top of that.